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Football Whispers TV panellist Dave Beasant believes former Manchester United defender Jaap Stam has all the tools to guide Reading back to the top flight after working closely with the Dutchman since his arrival at the Madejski Stadium.
In just his first season in management, Stam has guided the Royals to the Championship play-off places – after the club finished a lowly 17th under Brian McDermott last season.
Reading could have been accused of just plumping for a big name in Stam, who packed in six trophies in a three-year spell at United before his famous fall-out with Sir Alex Ferguson.
But former Wimbledon and Chelsea goalkeeper Beasant – who is working under Stam as a goalkeeping coach – insists that the rookie manager has already taught him a thing or two.
“He’s brilliant,” Beasant told Football Whispers. “He’s developing the game over here as I see it, and I’m not sure many teams will do the work and put the time in to develop and teach a team how to play football as he’s done.
“He’s very informative and informed – he knows what he’s talking about and he knows what he wants – and though he has a Dutch background, he knows English football.
He’s got the make-up from a footballing environment in Holland, played in this country at the very top and won everything that you can.
“But his man-management is very, very good, how he handles one-on-one situations with players.
“I’ve always said no matter what age you are in football, you’re always learning and I’m learning a lot from Jaap Stam.”
Welcome to Stam-sterdam
Though Stam was a tough-as-nails centre-back, he has brought an unmistakably Dutch influence of possession football to Berkshire – and dug his heels in after a difficult start.
But memories of just one win from their first four league fixtures soon evaporated as Reading got into the pass-first groove.
And Beasant admits there was never any danger of Stam not getting his point across to both the players and fans.
“He is very much his own man,” added the 57-year-old. “He’s definitely got the fear factor but he’s a person who doesn’t seem to lose his head.
“He’s also very open and questionable, and asks the players what they feel. I’ve had managers who will rant and rave, throw things and point the finger, but he does it all in a very calm, collected and knowledgeable way.”
WHISPER IT QUIETLY BUT A NEW PROGRAMME HAS BEEN RELEASED – CHECK OUT EPISODE 12 FEATURING DAVE BEASANT AND PAUL WALSH!